How To Host an ARMA 3 Dedicated Server [Windows]


If you have outgrown your shared ARMA 3 server hosting provider (like the ones on the home page) then you may need to look into setting up your own dedicated server.

Cheapest ARMA 3 Server Hosting Home Page

Hosting your own dedicated server potentially gives you more power, greater control over modding and for very large communities you can benefit from better value for money.

For a smaller group of friends its probably not worth the money and extra work needed in setting up, then maintaining the dedicated server.

What You Need To Host Your Own ARMA 3 Dedicated Server

So what exactly do you need to go down the dedicated route, rather than go for a ready to use solution from a game hosting company?

  • A Steam account that owns a copy of ARMA 3
  • Windows Server OS 2008 or newer
  • 4GB of RAM or more
  • 32GB SSD space free
  • 3.5GHz CPU or higher with dual cores (1 for OS and 1 for game as an ARMA 3 server can only use 1 core)

Lets now look at the steps involved in setting everything up yourself.

How To Host ARMA 3 On A Windows Machine

I will break down the steps to make them as simple as possible. If this is your first time then be sure to double check before you do anything as you could end up causing new issues with your game or even your PC.

Step 1: Install and update DirectX

DirectX is a component added to Windows operating systems to help it understand 3D graphics.

DirectX Download

Its not usually installed by default to keep the operating system running fast for computers that won’t be running graphics programs like games.

Head over to the Microsoft website and download the latest DirectX, then install that program to bring your version up to date.

Step 2: Set aside a folder for your ARMA 3 server to live in

ARMA 3 Server FolderThis is an easy one, simply create a folder somewhere that’s easy to find to keep your ARMA 3 server in.

I usually opt to keep my server folders on my desktop with a name like “ARMA3Server” but you could put it at the root of your hard drive or in your My Documents folder.

Step 3: Download SteamCMD

You need to now download a program called SteamCMD, this tool operates as a download’er and updater for Steam games server files.

Once downloaded unpack it into your folder from step 2.

Step 4: Run SteamCMD

With SteamCMD sat in your target folder to keep your ARMA 3 server, double click it to launch it.

SteamCMD in Action

You will now see that SteamCMD is downloading additional files and updating itself, leave it to complete its task and move onto the next step.

Step 5: Use SteamCMD to download the ARMA 3 server files

With SteamCMD now updated it will request its next operation through a command which you need to now enter (as long as its finished updating and is displaying: Steam>).

You first need to sign in using this following command (change to reflect your own Steam username):

login <STEAMUSERNAME>

Then enter your password when requested to do so.

Next up, you need to enter the following command (changing the folder location to the one you created in step 2):

force_install_dir “C\:ARMAServer”

Then once that command is succesfully entered type in this next one to begin the downloading of the ARMA 3 server files:

app_update 233780 validate

Step 6: Install a program to manage the server options and launch

This step is optional but massively recommended.

Download the TADST tool by Tophe and then place it into your ARMA 3 server folder. Double click the .exe file to launch the tool and examine the new options that appear.

Using this new GUI you can easily change options and launch your server without having to fiddle with any code.